Channeling Your Anger & Frustration → Social Action

Channel can mean hollowing or gouging out, which sounds pretty violent and may be the way we’d like to act these days. A more positive definition is movement in a different direction. Below are some ideas to harness your anger and frustration through social action.

Of course, my first suggestion is to join UUCF’s Social Action Committee. Our SAC general meetings are the third Tuesday of each month, UUCF, room 113. In February and March we are meeting 3:30-5pm but, as daylight hours grow, we will move to 5:30-7pm, which allows us to stay on if Rev. Carl has an ongoing class. Find information on classes here.

The Art of Peace, Sponsored by Frederick’s Four Rotary Clubs

Generations have studied the ‘Art of War’. What if we instead examined the ‘Art of Peace’?

During Rotary World Peace and Understanding Month in February, Rotarians in the four clubs in Frederick County and the community will engage in a highly-interactive facilitated forum to examine and educate about the meaning of Peace.

The four Rotary Clubs will gather at the Arc of Frederick at 6:00 PM on Thursday, February 23, 2017 for a fast-paced, interactive forum titled ‘The Art of Peace’. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and libations will be provided. Click here to register.

Potluck Dinner with Islamic Society of Frederick

Put Sunday, March 19, 1:30pm on your calendarPlanning has begun for UUCF to host members of the Islamic Society of Frederick as we enjoy an informal gathering to get to know and support each other.

Work to Pass a Bill that You Passionately Support

State & National Legislators: If you’re in West Virginia click here to track the status of a bill, here to contact Senators, and here to contact members of the WV House. In Maryland, simply click here and type your zip into the bar at the top. And click the underlined to find all US Senators and Representatives.

Then contact him or her. This advice from Friend Anne Buttenheim makes it easier than some other advice I’ve read and it makes sense in today’s world:

“Friends! As some of you know, I used to work on Capitol Hill as the person in charge of all the incoming phone calls to my Senator’s office. I have some insider tips to make calling your reps easier and quicker.

  1. Give your name, city, and zip code, and say “I don’t need a response.” That way, they can quickly confirm you are a constituent, and that they can tally you down without taking the time to input you into a response database.
  2. PLEASE ONLY CALL YOUR OWN REPRESENTATIVES! Your tally will not be marked down unless you can rattle off a city and zip from the state, or are calling from an in-state area code. I know you really want to give Mitch McConnell a piece of your mind, but your call will be ignored unless you can provide a zip from Kentucky. And don’t try to make this up; I could often tell who was lying before I even picked up the phone from the caller ID. Exceptions to this are things like Paul Ryan’s ACA poll.
  3. State the issue, state your position. “I am opposed to a ban on Muslims entering the US.” “I am in favor of stricter gun control legislation including background checks.” “I am in favor of the Affordable Care Act.” That’s it. That’s all we write down so we can get a tally of who is in favor, who is against. It doesn’t matter WHY you hold that opinion. The more people calling, the less detail they write down. Help them out by being simple and direct.
  4. Please be nice! The people answering the phones on Capitol Hill already had the hardest job in DC and some of the lowest pay as well, and for a month now their jobs have become absolute murder, with nonstop calls for 9 hours every day. Thank them for their hard work answering the phones, because without them our Senators could not represent us.

What does this sound like?

“Hi, my name is Mark, I’m a constituent from Seattle, zip code 98***, I don’t need a response. I am opposed to any ban on Muslims entering the United States and I encourage the Senator to please oppose implementation of any such ban. Thanks for your hard work answering the phones!”

This is how I wish every caller had phrased their message. It makes it easier for the people answering the phones and takes less time and emotion than a long script. I know that you want to say why, but keeping it short and sweet helps the office answer more calls per hour, meaning more people get heard. The bigger the tally, the more powerful our voice. Also, when you’re reading off the same script as 100 other callers that day… well…they can tell.

Pick one issue each day, use the above format, saying I am in favor of _____ or I oppose ______, and call your 2 Senators and 1 Representative on their DC and State Office lines, and you’ll be on your way to being heard.”

Work to Dismantle Racism 

Anti-Racism Training Workshop: Saturday, February 11, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. sponsored jointly by Mount St. Mary’s University (MSM), the Frederick County Human Relations Commission, and the Thurmont Ministeriam. The workshop will be held at MSM’s Frederick branch located at 5350 Spectrum Drive, Frederick, MD.

Courage for Racial Justice with Chris Crass, Anti-Racism Movement Builder: Saturday, March 11, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., All Souls UU, Washington, DC. Co-sponsored by 7 area Unitarian Universalist congregations (including UUCF) and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) DC. This event is geared towards white people and open to everyone. Our nation needs more people working for racial justice, and white people have particular roles to play.

See this week’s midweek announcements  or contact Karen Reilly for more information on the the work of the Dismantling Racism Team.

There’s lots more to suggest but chin up and move in a positive direction!

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